About Picta Tickseed: This wildflower’s common name of “tickseed” comes from the resemblance of the seeds to that particular bug; the genus name Coreopsis, derived from the Greek “koris,” makes a similar reference to bedbugs. Hardiness and love of dry soil make the flowers in this family especially valuable to citizens of the state of Florida, who appointed Coreopsis as their official state wildflower in 1991.
Picta Tickseed Germination: Direct sow in late fall, planting the seed just below the surface of the soil; these seeds need light to germinate. For spring planting, mix the seed with moist sand and store it in the refrigerator for 30 days before direct sowing. Keep the soil evenly moist until germination, which should occur within 10-15 days. The treated seeds can also be started indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost of spring; plant the seeds on the surface of a flat, keeping the moisture consistent and the temperature around 65 degrees F. Transplant seedlings to 9-12” apart. This plant adapts to nearly any soil, including rocky or shallow areas or seaside conditions.
Growing Picta Tickseed Seeds: Water the seedlings occasionally until they become established; mature plants prefer dry soil and tolerate drought, heat, and humidity well. If given too much moisture or rich soil, the plants tend to flop and may need support. If the blooming decreases midseason, cut the plant back by half for new growth and blooms. Regular deadheading also helps prolong the season of blooming. If allowed to self-seed it will produce volunteer plants, though it does not become weedy. This plant attracts butterflies and bees as well as resisting rabbits and deer.
Harvesting Picta Tickseed: For long lasting fresh flowers, cut the stems long and place them in water immediately.
Saving Picta Tickseed Seeds: Several weeks after the flowers have faded, the seed heads will turn dry and dark brown. Since these seeds are a favorite food of songbirds and rodents, harvest them promptly. Cut the heads from the plant and spread them out to dry completely. Break them apart to remove the seeds, and separate the seeds from the chaff. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed Picta Tickseed Info: Origin: US Native Wildflower Other Common Names: Crown Tickseed Duration: Annual Bloom Time: Spring Height: 18-24 inches Spacing: 9-12 inches Light: Full Sun Soil Moisture: Dry to Medium USDA Zone: 3a-9b Seeds Per Oz: 9,200 Produces narrow blade-shaped green foliage and 1½-2” daisy-like flowers with jagged-edged yellow petals with a ring of red markings and yellow centers.